5 new phone security settings that feel like secrets

Your phone is one of the most important devices you can own, but it can do so much that you might not be aware of it. While developers push out new features and settings all the time, it’s usually up to you to find them.

Change can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. Some affect your privacy, while others want to make your life easier. Tap or click here for five new changes Google is rolling out.

Security is a top priority for your smartphone, so wouldn’t it be great to know more about it? Read about five new settings for your iPhone or Android gadget and how to manage them.

1. Two-Factor Authentication
A strong password is important, but there is always room for improvement when it comes to accessing your device. Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, adds another layer of security. It can be something you only know (for example, the answer to a specific question), something you have (a smartphone) and who you are (a fingerprint, facial scan, voice pattern).

If either factor is not recognized, for example, your password or a code sent to you, you will not have access to the device. This is important if you lose your device or are signing in to a new one.

2. Autofill
Two-factor authentication is a good security measure, but some people don’t activate it because they don’t want to deal with the extra steps involved. Autofill options make it easy to use 2FA when logging into a new device or account.

When you log into a new app or site with your 2FA-enabled iOS device, you don’t have to open the Messages app to receive the code. Instead, the code will appear on your keyboard and you can tap it to auto-fill the security field. This feature is built into iOS 12 and above and there is no need to enable it. Tap or click here for more iPhone security tips.

3. Password Protection
How do you know if a password is good or has been tampered with? It may involve infringement or may be so common that other people may be using it. You can now check the status of your passwords and get help changing them.

Keychain Password Re-auditing (iOS)
Safari stores your passwords in Keychain, which can be accessed from your iOS device or iCloud. Your password is checked against a list of broken passwords, which informs you if you have been tampered with. This feature is turned on by default with iOS 14.

Go to Safari > Preferences > Passwords and look under Security Recommendations to see if any of your passwords were compromised. If so, you’ll be prompted to update your password with a stronger password.

Chrome’s password checkup feature is built into the password manager. Go to Passwords.google.com and select Password Checkup > Check Password.

Here you can see which passwords have been compromised and which are weak and need to be changed. Tap or click here to view similar features in other browsers.

4. Encrypted Backup
You back up your stuff in hopes that you won’t have to resort to using it, but it’s good to know that it’s just in case. Encryption protects your valuable information and adds some new features on top of that.

Encrypted iPhone backups contain information that you don’t find in a normal backup, including saved passwords, health data, Wi-Fi settings, call history, and website history.

Android Backup Encryption
If you’re running Android 9 Pie or later, you have encryption turned on by default. It uses end-to-end encryption, which means that only the person who created the data and the person who received it (both of you in the case of a backup) can view the data. You can turn it off in Settings, but there’s really no reason to do so.

5. Hide Your Photos
Ever hand over your phone to someone and then regret doing so for fear they might see pictures you don’t want? You can hide any private photos and easily access them yourself.

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